Exposé Online banner

Cheer-Accident — No Ifs, Ands or Dogs
(Cuneiform Rune 326, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

No Ifs, Ands or Dogs Cover art

This is one of those reviews that won't write itself. Not that reviews ever really write themselves, but some albums I listen to and know what I want to say. Not this time. First off, I love this CD. It easily made my best of 2011 list, and in my book 2011 was a great year for creative music. That a band can make such a wildly interesting album after being at it so long (15+ releases in 15+ years) says a lot about their vision and talent. 2009's Fear Draws Misfortune rates very highly for me, and this one is right up there, tied (or nearly tied) for their best yet. The tracks are mostly on the short side — none pass the five minute mark, and there are a few under one minute — but there is a kind of flow to the album as a whole. Individual tracks can be singled out — several have made it into my phone's shuffle list — but taking the entire 48 minutes in creates the impression of a bigger picture, even if what exactly it represents is unclear. Cheer-Accident, unlike my cat, just refuses to sit in a box. The closest comparison is probably to American RIO-influenced bands like Thinking Plague, though Cheer-Accident seems to come at it from a different angle, like a more mainstream rock band that fell in love with complex musical structures. "Barely Breathing" is a good example, with its lovely falsetto lead voice and lush backing vocals. But then there are the horn parts, which fit perfectly from a musical standpoint but are well outside what you'd expect to hear on a typical indie-rock song. The next tune is "Life in Pollyanna," which jumps in with a complicated guitar riff and shifting meters underpinning another melodic vocal part, maybe like what Gentle Giant tried to do on The Missing Piece. Which, come to think of it, is a good comparison. No Ifs, Ands or Dogs has that same bright, energetic sound to it, with arrangements based on polyphony rather than riffs and chords. Somehow, Cheer-Accident manages to make it work. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Gentle Giant fan, and even The Missing Piece has some great stuff on it, but I wouldn't call it a great album.) This is a great example of small-p progressive music that has very little of the large-P in it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Cheer-Accident

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Die Anarchistiche Abendunterhaltung - We Need New Animals – Under this rather long and cryptic (!) name [Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung] is hidden a Belgian band operating in the same areas as Cro Magnon, Maximalist!, Ensemble Nimbus, Miriodor or Palo...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues